Our Headteacher, Mrs Sharon Lambert of Allerton Primary School & Nursery was selected along with only one other school in Yorkshire to take part in a 60 school link to China. The China Link scheme provided by One Education offers a unique connection establishing contacts with Chinese schools, Beijing Education Authority and the British Council.
Mrs Lambert has just returned to school after spending 10 days visiting Primary Schools in the Zhejiang province and Beijing, learning about their teaching methods and education provision. Her key learning’s from the visit was the strong sense of belonging, passion for learning and collective sense of responsibility that everyone lived by.
The visit was timely with the British Chancellor George Osborne and London Mayor Boris Johnson currently visiting China to highlight the Asian giant's global economic might, and the recent announcement of the £800m investment by a group of Chinese businesses in Manchester Airport to develop its surrounding business.
Mrs Lambert strongly believes we can learn from the Chinese culture and education system. The children are extremely proud of their heritage and have such a strong sense of responsibility.
“I spent 3 days at The Jin Du Tian Chang Primary School which had over 600 pupils. They only had 2 cleaners as the children take responsibility each day to clean their own classrooms and halls! There were no behavioural policies or sanctions because the children respected that they were in school to learn in order to develop themselves. Even Primary age school realised that they needed a good education in order to go onto University or to get a job.”
It’s not all hard work though as Mrs Lambert explained, “The Chinese pupils have a long day at school from 8am – 5pm, but learning is mixed in with exercise. Every day, at 10am every single pupil and teacher took part in an exercise class in the school grounds! It was amazing to hear loud music through the tannoy system and the all of the children either running, skipping or jumping! After 30 minutes they all went back to their classrooms ready to learn.”
Since returning to school, Mrs Lambert has spent time discussing her visit with the children who have loved hearing about how the Chinese children spend their days in school and looking at her photos of warriors and dragons! School also held an interactive parents evening where Mrs Lambert discussed her thoughts and reflections from the visit and encouraged discussion on ways in which we can all improve our children’s education and introduce new methods of learning at Allerton.